Noongar

Last updated

Noongar groups Noongar1.jpg
Noongar groups

The Noongar ( /ˈnʊŋɑː/ ) (also spelt Nyungar, Nyoongar, Nyoongah, Nyungah, Nyugah, Yunga [1] ) are a constellation of peoples of Indigenous Australian descent who live in the south-west corner of Western Australia, from Geraldton on the west coast to Esperance on the south coast. Noongar country is now understood as referring to the land occupied by 14 different groups: Amangu, Ballardong, Yued, Kaneang, Koreng, Mineng, Njakinjaki, Njunga, Pibelmen, Pindjarup, Wardandi, Whadjuk, Wiilman and Wudjari . [lower-alpha 1]

Western Australia State in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

Esperance, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Esperance is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, on the Southern Ocean coastline approximately 720 kilometres (450 mi) east-southeast of the state capital, Perth. The urban population of Esperance was 12,145 at June 2018. Its major industries are tourism, agriculture, and fishing.

The Amangu are an indigenous Noongar people of the mid-western region of Western Australia.

Contents

The members of the collective Noongar cultural block descend from peoples who spoke several languages and dialects that were often mutually intelligible. What is now classed as the Noongar language is a member of the large Pama-Nyungan language family. Contemporary Noongar speak Australian Aboriginal English (a dialect of the English language) laced with Noongar words and occasionally inflected by its grammar. Most contemporary Noongar trace their ancestry to more than one of these groups. The 2001 census figures showed that 21,000 people identified themselves as indigenous in the south-west of Western Australia.

Pama–Nyungan languages language family

The Pama–Nyungan languages are the most widespread family of Australian Aboriginal languages, containing perhaps 300 languages. The name "Pama–Nyungan" is derived from the names of the two most widely separated groups, the Pama languages of the northeast and the Nyungan languages of the southwest. The words pama and nyunga mean "man" in their respective languages.

Australian Aboriginal English (AAE) refers to a dialect of Australian English used by a large section of the Indigenous Australian population. It is made up of a number of varieties which developed differently in different parts of Australia. These varieties are generally said to fit along a continuum ranging from light forms, close to Standard Australian English, to heavy forms, closer to Kriol. There are generally distinctive features of accent, grammar, words and meanings, as well as language use. AAE is not to be confused with Kriol, which is a separate language from English spoken by over 30,000 people in Australia. Speakers have been noted to tend to change between different forms of AAE depending on whom they are speaking to, e.g. striving to speak more like Australian English when speaking to a non-Indigenous English-speaking person.

Name

The endonym of the Noongar comes from a word originally meaning "man" or "person". [3]

Language

At the time of European settlement it is believed that the peoples of what became the Noongar community spoke thirteen dialects, of which five still had speakers with some living knowledge of their respective versions of the language. [4] No speakers use it over the complete range of everyday speaking situations, and the full resources of the language are available only to a few individuals. [5]

Ecological context

The Noongar peoples have six seasons whose time frame is defined by specific observable changes to the environment, with a dry period varying from as few as three to as many as eleven months. [6] [lower-alpha 2] Tribes are spread over three different geological systems: the coastal plains, the plateau, and the plateau margins; all areas are characterized by relatively infertile soil. The north is characterized by casuarina, acacia and melaleuca thickets, the south by mulga scrubland but it also supported dense forest stands. Several rivers run to the coast and with lakes and wetlands provided the Noongar people with their distinctive food and vegetation resources. [8]

Generally, Noongar made a living by hunting and trapping a variety of game, including kangaroos, possums and wallabies; for people close to the coastal zone or riverine systems, spear-fishing or culling fish in traps was customary. An extensive range of edible wild plants were also available, including yams and wattle seeds. Nuts of the zamia palm, eaten during the Djeran season (April–May) [7] required extensive treatment to remove its toxicity, and for women it may have had a contraceptive effect.[ citation needed ] As early as 10,000 BP local people utilised quartz, replacing chert flint for spear and knife edges when the chert deposits were submerged by sea level rise during the Flandrian transgression.[ citation needed ]

Phalangeriformes suborder of arboreal marsupials

Phalangeriformes is a suborder of any of about 70 small to medium-sized arboreal marsupial species native to Australia, New Guinea, and Sulawesi. The suborder includes animals commonly known as possums, gliders, and cuscus. The common name "possum" for various Phalangeriformes species derives from the creatures' resemblance to the opossums of the Americas. However, although opossums are also marsupials, Australasian possums are more closely related to other Australasian marsupials such as kangaroos.

Bush tucker Food native to Australia and used as sustenance by the original inhabitants, the Aboriginal Australians

Bush tucker, also called bushfood, is any food native to Australia and used as sustenance by the original inhabitants, the Aboriginal Australians, but it can also describe any native fauna or flora used for culinary and/or medicinal purposes, regardless of the continent or culture. Examples of Australian native animal foods (meats) include kangaroo, emu and crocodile. In particular, kangaroo is quite common and can be found in Australian supermarkets, often cheaper than beef. Other animals, for example goanna and witchetty grubs, were eaten by Aboriginal Australians. Fish and shellfish are culinary features of the Australian coastal communities.

<i>Acacia</i> Genus of plants

Acacia, commonly known as the wattles or acacias, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the pea family Fabaceae. Initially it comprised a group of plant species native to Africa and Australia, with the first species A. nilotica described by Linnaeus. Controversy erupted in the early 2000s when it became evident that the genus as it stood was not monophyletic, and that several divergent lineages needed to be placed in separate genera. It turned out that one lineage comprising over 900 species mainly native to Australia was not closely related to the mainly African lineage that contained A. nilotica—the first and type species. This meant that the Australian lineage would need to be renamed. Botanist Les Pedley named this group Racosperma, which was inconsistently adopted. Australian botanists proposed that this would be more disruptive than setting a different type species and allowing this large number of species to remain Acacia, resulting in the two African lineages being renamed Vachellia and Senegalia, and the two New World lineages renamed Acaciella and Mariosousa. This was officially adopted, but many botanists from Africa and elsewhere disagreed that this was necessary.

History of contact

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Noongar population has been estimated at 45,000 years BCE, colonisation by the British brought both violence and new diseases, taking a heavy toll on the population. [9] The Noongar, like many other Aboriginal peoples, [10] saw the arrival of Europeans as the returning of deceased people, often imagining them as relatives who deserved accommodation. As they approached from the west, the newcomers were called djaanga (or djanak), meaning "white spirits". [11]

Carrolup River Native Settlement, c. 1951, near Katanning Carrolup River Native Settlement.jpg
Carrolup River Native Settlement, c.1951, near Katanning

Initially relations were generally cordial. Matthew Flinders recognized the success of his three-week sojourn as due in good part to Noongar diplomacy, and Noongar rituals celebrated their reception of the newcomers in a ceremonial form. [lower-alpha 3] When settlement became more firmly established, however, misunderstandings over the obligations of reciprocity – some of the most productive land was being taken especially on the Upper Swan – led to sporadic clashes. An example of such misunderstandings was the Noongar land-management practice of setting fires in early summer, mistakenly seen as an act of hostility by the settlers. Conversely, the Noongar saw the settlers' livestock as fair game to replace the dwindling stocks of native animals shot indiscriminately by settlers.[ citation needed ] The only area that successfully resisted the usurpation of native land for any time was the area around the Murray River, which effectively blocked expansion of the tiny settlement at Mandurah for almost half a decade. [13]

In June 1832 a Whadjuk leader, [14] Yagan, formerly of good standing among the settler authorities and known in the colony for his handsome bearing, "tall, slender, well-fashioned..of pleading countenance", was, together with his father Midgegooroo and brother Monday, declared an outlaw after undertaking a series of food raids and revenge attacks in retaliation for some 16 Whadjuk who had been killed since the establishment of the settlement. Caught and imprisoned, he escaped and was let alone, as though informally reprieved as a native version of William Wallace. [15] [lower-alpha 4] His father was caught, and killed without trial by a military firing squad. Yagan himself, with a bounty on his head, was ambushed soon afterwards by an 18-year-old settler youth, [14] after he had stopped two settlers and asked for flour. [15] His corpse was decapitated and the skull sent to England for display in fairgrounds. [lower-alpha 5] Yagan is now considered a Noongar hero, [15] by many to have been one of the first indigenous resistance fighters. [17] Matters escalated with conflicts between the settlement of Thomas Peel and the Pindjarup people, resulting in the Pinjarra massacre. Similarly struggles with Balardong people in the Avon Valley continued until violently suppressed by Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury. Notwithstanding this violence, extraordinary acts of goodwill existed. In the same year, 1834, the Swan River Noongar couple, Migo and Molly Dobbin, alerted to the fact a European child had gone missing, covered 22 miles (35 km) in 10 hours tracking his spoors, and saved him, at the point of death. [18]

From August 1838 ten Aboriginal prisoners were sent to Rottnest Island (known as Wadjemup to the Noongar, possibly meaning "place across the water" [19] ). After a short period when both settlers and prisoners occupied the island, the Colonial Secretary announced in June 1839 that the island would become a penal establishment for Aboriginal people and was officially designated as such in 1841. [20] From that time down to 1903 when the indigenous section was closed, [21] Rottnest Island was used as a prison to transfer Aboriginal prisoners "overseas". To "pacify" the Aboriginal population, men were rounded up and chained for offences ranging from spearing livestock, burning the bush or digging vegetables on what had been their own land. It quickly became a "place of torment, deprivation and death", [22] and it has been estimated that there may be as many as 369 Aboriginal graves on the island, of which five were for prisoners who had been hung. Except for a short period between 1849 and 1855, during which the prison was closed, some 3,700 Aboriginal men and boys, many of them Noongars, but also many others from all parts of the state, were imprisoned. [23]

A significant development for the Noongar people in the Western Australian Colony was the arrival of Rosendo Salvado in 1846. Highly cultured, very caring, practical and down to earth, Salvado dedicated his life to promoting the humane treatment of the Australian Aboriginals at the mission he created at New Norcia, the territory of the Yued. The Njunga found refuge under his roof, and he defended many natives up on charges of theft, arguing from Church doctrine that theft was not criminal if dictated by dire necessity. While intent on converting, he encouraged the Noongar to maintain their traditional culture. [24]

From 1890 to 1958, the lives and lifestyles of Noongar people were subject to the Native Welfare Act. By 1915 15% of Perth's Noongar had been thrust north and interned at the Moore River Native Settlement. [25] Carrolup (later known as Marribank) became the home of up to one-third of the population. It is estimated that 10 to 25% of Noongar children were forcibly "adopted" during these years, in part of what has become known as the Stolen Generations. [26]

Culture

Noongar people live in many country towns throughout the south-west as well as in the major population centres of Perth, Mandurah, Bunbury, Geraldton, Albany and Esperance. Many country Noongar people have developed long-standing relationships with wadjila (white fella[man])[ citation needed ] [lower-alpha 6] farmers and continue to hunt kangaroo and gather bush tucker (food) as well as to teach their children stories about the land. In a few areas in the south-west, visitors can go on bushtucker walks, trying foods such as kangaroo, emu, quandong jam or relish, bush tomatoes, witchetty grub pâté and bush honey.

In Perth, the Noongar believe that the Darling Scarp is said to represent the body of a Wagyl, a snakelike being from the Dreamtime that meandered over the land creating rivers, waterways and lakes. It is thought that the Wagyl created the Swan River. The Wagyl has been associated with Wonambi naracoutensis, part of the extinct megafauna of Australia that disappeared between 15 and 50,000 years ago.

The Swan River Mill Point vista seanmack.jpg
The Swan River
Swan River, with Canning River in light blue Swan River Map.png
Swan River, with Canning River in light blue

Also in Perth, Mount Eliza was an important site for the Noongar. It was a hunting site where kangaroos were herded and driven over the edge to provide meat for gathering clans. In this context, the "clan" is a local descent group – larger than a family but based on family links through a common ancestry. At the base of Mount Eliza is a sacred site where the Wagyl is said to have rested during its journeys. This site is also the location of the former Swan Brewery which has been a source of contention between local Noongar groups (who would like to see the land, which was reclaimed from the river in the late 19th century, "restored" to them) and the title-holders who wished to develop the site. A Noongar protest camp existed here for several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Noongar culture is particularly strong with the written word. The plays of Jack Davis are on the school syllabus in several Australian states. Davis' first full-length play Kullark, a documentary on the history of Aboriginals in WA, was first produced in 1979. Other plays include: No Sugar, The Dreamers, Barungin: Smell the Wind, In Our Town and for younger audiences, Honey Spot and Moorli and the Leprechaun. Kim Scott won the 2000 Miles Franklin Award for his novel Benang and the 2011 award for That Deadman Dance.

Yirra Yaakin [27] describes itself as the response to the Aboriginal Community's need for positive self-enhancement through artistic expression. It is a theatre company which strives for community development and which also has a drive to create "exciting, authentic and culturally appropriate indigenous theatre".

The Barnett government of Western Australia announced in November 2014 that, due to changes in funding arrangements with the Abbott Federal government, it was closing 150 of 276 Aboriginal communities in remote locations. As a result, Noongars in solidarity with other Aboriginal groups established a refugee camp on Heirisson Island. Despite police action to dismantle the camp twice in 2015, the camp continued until April 2016.

Despite such state government actions many local governments in the south-west have developed "compacts" or "commitments" with their local Noongar communities to ensure that sites of significance are protected and that the culture is respected. At the same time, the Western Australian Barnett government, also from November 2014, had been forcing the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee to deregister 300 Aboriginal sacred sites in Western Australia. [28] [29] Although falling most heavily upon Pilbara and Kimberley sites this government policy also was having an impact upon Noongar lands according to Ira Hayward-Jackson, Chairman of the Rottnest Island Deaths Group. [30] The changes also removed rights of notification and appeal for traditional owners seeking to protect their heritage. A legal ruling on 1 April 2015 overturned the government's actions on some of the sites deregistered which were found to be truly sacred.[ citation needed ]

Elders are increasingly asked on formal occasions to provide a "Welcome to Country" and the first steps of teaching the Noongar language in the general curriculum have been made.

In recent years there has been considerable interest in Noongar visual arts. In 2006, Noongar culture was showcased as part of the Perth International Arts Festival. A highlight of the Festival was the unveiling of the monumental "Ngallak Koort Boodja – Our Heart Land Canvas". The 8-metre (26 ft) canvas was commissioned for the festival by representatives of the united elders and families from across the Noongar nation. It was painted by leading Noongar artists Shane Pickett, Tjyllyungoo, Yvonne Kickett, Alice Warrell and Sharyn Egan.

Noongar ecology

The Noongar people occupied and maintained the Mediterranean climate lands of the south-west of Western Australia, and made sustainable use of seven biogeographic regions of their territory, namely;

These seven regions have been acknowledged as a biodiversity hot-spot, [31] having a generally greater number of endemic species than most other regions in Australia. The ecological damage done to this region through clearing, introduced species, by feral animals and non-endemic plants is also severe, and has resulted in a high proportion of plants and animals being included in the categories of rare, threatened and endangered species. In modern times many Aboriginal men were employed intermittently as rabbiters, and rabbit became an important part of Noongar diet in the early 20th century. The Noongar territory also happens to conform closely with the south-west Indian Ocean Drainage Region, and the use of these water resources played a very important seasonal part in their culture.

The Noongar thus have a close connection with the earth and, as a consequence, they divided the year into six distinct seasons that corresponded with moving to different habitats and feeding patterns based on seasonal foods. [32] They were:

Native title

On 19 September 2006 the Federal Court of Australia brought down a judgment which recognised native title in an area over the city of Perth and its surrounds, known as Bennell v State of Western Australia [2006] FCA 1243. [41] An appeal was subsequently lodged and was heard in April 2007. The remainder of the larger "Single Noongar Claim" area, covering 193,956 km2 (74,887 sq mi) of the south-west of Western Australia, remains outstanding, and will hinge on the outcome of this appeal process. In the interim, the Noongar people together will continue to be involved in native title negotiations with the Government of Western Australia, and are represented by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council.

Justice Wilcox's judgment is noteworthy for several reasons. It highlights Perth's wealth of post-European settlement writings which provide an insight into Aboriginal life, including laws and customs, around the time of settlement in 1829 and also into the beginning of the last century. These documents enabled Justice Wilcox to find that laws and customs governing land throughout the whole Single Noongar Claim (taking in Perth, and many other towns in the greater South West) were those of a single community. The claimants shared a language and had extensive interaction with others in the claim area.

Importantly, Justice Wilcox found the Noongar community constituted a united society which had continued to exist despite the disruption resulting from mixed marriage and people being forced off their land and dispersed to other areas as a result of white settlement and later Government policies.

In April 2008 the Full Bench of the Federal Court upheld parts of the appeal by the Western Australian and Commonwealth governments against Justice Wilcox's judgment. [42]

Other native title claims on Noongar lands include:[ citation needed ]

Economics

Since the Noongar are largely urbanised or concentrated in major regional towns, studies have shown that the direct economic impact of the Noongar community on the WA economy was estimated to range between five and seven hundred million dollars per year. [43] Exit polls of tourists leaving Western Australia have consistently shown that "lack of contact with indigenous culture" has been their greatest regret. It has been estimated that this results in the loss of many millions of dollars worth of foregone tourist revenue. [44]

Current issues

As a consequence of the Stolen Generations and problems integrating with modern westernised society, many difficult issues face the present day Noongar. For example, the Noongar Men of the SouthWest gathering in 1996 identified major community problems associated with cultural dispossession such as:

Many of these issues are not unique to the Noongar but in many cases they are unable to receive appropriate government-agency care. The report that was produced after this gathering also stated that Noongar men have a life expectancy of 20 years less than non-Aboriginal men, and go to hospital three times more often. [45]

The Noongar still have large extended families and many families have difficulty accessing available structures of sheltered housing in Western Australia. The Western Australian government has dedicated several areas for the purpose of building communities specifically for the Noongar people, such as the (now closed) Swan Valley Noongar Community.

The Noongar themselves are tackling their own issues, for example, the Noongar Patrol, which is an Aboriginal Advancement Council initiative. It was set up to deter Aboriginal young people from offending behaviour and reduce the likelihood of their contact with the criminal justice system. The patrol uses mediation and negotiation with indigenous youth in an attempt to curb anti-social and offending behaviour of young people who come into the city at night. [46]

Notable Noongar people

Modern day

Historical

See also

Notes

  1. Contemporary usage tends to aggregate these into three major sub-identities: the Wardandi of the coastal zone from Augusta to Bunbury; the Pindjarup (Binjarub) from north Bunbury to Mandurah and Pinjarra, both coastally and inland; and the Perth metropolitan and surrounding area's Whadjuk. [2]
  2. The contemporary Noongar calendar divides the year into 6 seasons: Binak (December–January): Bunuru (February–March); Djeran (April–May), Makuru;,Djilba and Kambarang. [7]
  3. "The south-west corner of Western Australia provides a rare and celebrated instance of harmonious interaction that had lasting consequences. In King George Sound, explorers and early colonists owed the success of their missions to Nyungar traditions of diplomacy and hospitality. In 1803, Matthew Flinders had his marines perform a military salute to honour the Nyungar for their assistance over a three-week rest period (White 1980). For at least half a century or longer, the Nyungar would enact a variation of this ceremony, with Aboriginal men assembled in rows, military-style, with white pipe clay and red crosses painted on their chests, with sticks as guns — mimicking the 'redcoats'. By the early 1900s, however, this branch of the Nyungar clan had become extinct, victims of colonial expansion from the Swan River penal settlement and also of introduced diseases." [12]
  4. The third "outlaw", Yagan's brother Monday, later deposed that their resistance stemmed from the many deaths the Whadjuk had suffered, and their loss of access to elementary means of survival. "He stated that the number of men belonging to his tribe that were killed several times since we came to the settlement to be 16. Gave a most particular catalogue of the names, places & manner of death, & by whom killed, whether by soldier or otherwise. He complained greatly of our encroachments and interference; that they were straightened for subsistence, treated with rudeness, & prevented from walking with liberty in their own country." [16]
  5. It was only returned and given proper burial in 2010. [15]
  6. Most tribes now classified generically as Noongar had distinct words for white man. For the Amangu, they were mini; for the Ballardong chungar; the Yued had two terms, nitin/chiargar; the Kaneang spoke of iunja; the Pindjarup of chinga; the Koreng of nyituing; the Mineng of janka; the Njakinjaki of jennok, etc.

Citations

Sources

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Yagan Noongar warrior

Yagan was an Indigenous Australian warrior from the Noongar people. He played a key part in early resistance to British colonial settlement and rule in the area surrounding what is now Perth, Western Australia. Yagan was pursued by the local authorities after he killed Erin Entwhistle, a servant of farmer Archibald Butler. It was an act of retaliation after Thomas Smedley, another of Butler's servants, shot at a group of Noongar people stealing potatoes and fowls, killing one of them. The government offered a bounty for Yagan's capture, dead or alive, and a young settler, William Keats, shot and killed him. Yagan's execution figures in Australian history as a symbol of the unjust and sometimes brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples of Australia by colonial settlers. He is considered a hero by the Noongar.

Carnac Island island in Australia

Carnac Island is a 19-hectare (47-acre), A Class, island nature reserve about 10 km (6.2 mi) south-west of Fremantle and 3.5 km (2.2 mi) north of Garden Island in Western Australia.

Heirisson Island artificial island in Swan River, Western Australia

Heirisson Island is an island in the Swan River in Western Australia at the eastern end of Perth Water, between the suburbs of East Perth and Victoria Park. It occupies an area of 285600 m2, and is connected to the two foreshores by The Causeway. The next upstream island is Kuljak Island, then Ron Courtney Island, with no islands in the Swan River downstream between Heirisson Island and the Indian Ocean other than the artificial islet in Elizabeth Quay.

Midgegooroo was an Indigenous Australian elder of the Nyungar nation, who played a key role in Indigenous resistance to white settlement in the area of Perth, Western Australia. Everything documented about Midgegooroo is mediated through the eyes of the colonisers, some of whom, notably G.F. Moore, Robert Menli Lyon and Francis Armstrong, derived their information from discussions with contemporary Noongar people, in particular the son of Midgegooroo, Yagan. Largely due to his exploits in opposing colonisation and his relationship with Lyon and Moore, Yagan has a much sharper historical profile than his father. Midgegooroo was executed by firing squad and without trial under the authority of Lieutenant Governor Frederick Irwin in 1833.

The Beeliar people are a clan or group of Indigenous Australians belonging to the Noongar tribal people of the South West region of Western Australia. Robert Lyon referred to the Beeliar people as one of the five groups of the Perth metropolitan area, but it is now thought that they may have been a family subgroup of a larger group, which Daisy Bates refers to as "Beelgar". When British settlers arrived to establish the Swan River Colony in 1829, there were about 60 Beeliar people, including Midgegooroo and Yagan. The Beeliar group no longer exists, and although some present-day Noongars trace their ancestry to Yagan, they identify as Noongars rather than Beeliar.

Wagyl

The Wagyl is, according to Noongar culture, a snakelike dreamtime creature responsible for the creation of the Swan and Canning rivers and other waterways and landforms around present day Perth and the south-west of Western Australia.

Pindjarup

The Binjareb, Pindjarup or Pinjareb were an indigenous Noongar people, now believed to be extinct, who once occupied part of the south-western region of Western Australia.

Whadjuk

Whadjuk, alternatively Witjari, are an indigenous Noongar people of the Western Australian region of the Perth bioregion of the Swan Coastal Plain.

The Pinjarra Massacre, also known as the Battle of Pinjarra, was an attack that occurred at Pinjarra, Western Australia on a group of up to 80 Noongar people by a detachment of 25 soldiers, police and settlers led by Governor James Stirling in 1834. After attacks on the displaced Swan River, Whadjuk people and depredations on settlers by a group of the Binjareb people led by Calyute had, according to European settlers, reached unacceptable levels, culminating in the payback killing of an ex-soldier, Stirling led his force after the party. Arriving at their camp, five members of the pursuit party were sent into the camp to arrest the suspects; Whadjuk community resisted. In the ensuing melee, Stirling reported 15 killed ; police superintendent Theophilus Tighe Ellis later died of wounds and a soldier was wounded. Stirling warned the tribe against payback killings and arranged a peace between the warring tribes, but Calyute continued to break it by raiding the Whadjuk until his demise.

Calyute, also known as Kalyute, Galyute or Wongir, was an Indigenous Australian resistance leader who was involved in a number of reprisal attacks with white settlers and members of other tribes in the early days of the Swan River Colony, in Western Australia. He was a member of the Pindjarup people from around the Murray River area south of Perth. Calyute's family included two brothers, Woodan and Yanmar, two wives, Mindup and Yamup, and two sons, Ninia and Monang.

Koreng

The Koreng, also spelled Goreng, are an indigenous Noongar people of south-west of Western Australia.

The Mooro were a Nyungar Indigenous clan who lived in and to the north of Perth, Western Australia, until shortly after European settlement at the Swan River Colony in 1829. Their territory stretched from the Swan River north to the Moore River beyond the northern limits of metropolitan Perth and east to Ellen Brook. Evidence of indigenous occupation of the Swan Coastal Plain extends back more than 40,000 years.

The history of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Western Australia has been dated as existing for 50-70 thousand years before European contact. This article only deals with documented history from non indigenous sources since European settlement in Perth.

Nyungar is an Australian Aboriginal language or dialect continuum, still spoken by members of the Noongar community, who live in the southwest corner of Western Australia. The 1996 census recorded 157 speakers; that number increased to 232 by 2006. The rigour of the data collection by the Australian Bureau of Statistics census data has been challenged, with the number of speakers believed to be considerably higher.

This is a timeline of Aboriginal history of Western Australia.

Yued

Yued, also spelled Juat, are an indigenous Noongar people located north of Perth.

Leonard Collard ARC Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia

Leonard Michael Collard is a Noongar elder, professor and Australian Research Council chief investigator at the School of Indigenous Studies University of Western Australia.

Fanny Balbuk

Fanny Balbuk (1840-1907) was a prominent Noongar Whadjuk woman who lived in Perth, Western Australia during the early years of the Swan River Colony. Balbuk was born on Heirisson Island in the Swan River, and her country included the swamps and wetland in the area currently occupied by the Perth Railway Station and Perth Cultural Centre. She is remembered for her fierce commitment to land rights, and her reactions to the buildings, fences and homes which quickly replaced her land as the colony expanded at the cost of Noongar peoples' land, language and lives.

Ben Cuimermara Taylor

Benedict "Ben" Taylor AM, also known as Cuimara is a Noongar elder from the south-west of Western Australia. Taylor is a well-known Indigenous activist.

Della Rae Morrison is an Aboriginal actor, songwriter and activist of the Bibulman Noongar people.